50 more bodies found at hospital in Gaza’s Khan Younis

Published April 22, 2024
A GRIEVING woman is consoled by a man after the body of her relative was discovered, buried by Israeli forces in a mass grave in the Nasser hospital compound in Khan Younis, on Sunday.—AFP
A GRIEVING woman is consoled by a man after the body of her relative was discovered, buried by Israeli forces in a mass grave in the Nasser hospital compound in Khan Younis, on Sunday.—AFP

• Gaza death toll nears 35,000
• 14 killed in occupied West Bank
• Netanyahu vows to fight possible US sanctions

GAZA: Health workers have uncovered at least 50 bodies of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at a hospital, in the southern city of Khan Younis.

But while Israeli military said it was checking reports about the recovery of 50 bodies, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared far from being willing to respect the United Nations resolution calling for a ceasefire, saying he would fight against sanctions being imposed on any Israeli army units.

Israel’s invasion has so far killed 34,097 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry.

Separately, the Palesti­nian Red Crescent said on Saturday that at least 14 people were killed during an Israeli raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army said it killed 10 people during the operation at Nur Shams camp.

Another mass grave

“Inside the Nasser Medical Complex there are mass graves dug by the Israeli occupation … we were shocked by the presence of bodies of 50 martyrs in one of the pits yesterday,” said Mahmud Bassal, spokesman for the Gaza civil defence agency.

“We are continuing the search operation today and are waiting for all graves to be exhumed in order to give a final number of martyrs.”

He said some of those killed had been tortured.

“There were no clothes on some bodies, which certainly indicates (the victims) faced torture and abuse,” Mr Bassal said.

In a separate statement, Hamas condemned the “mass grave of those executed in cold blood and buried with military bulldozers in the hospital’s courtyard”.

It said more than 50 bodies had been recovered there.

Several of the bodies wrapped in white shrouds were later collected by relatives, said an AFP photographer who reported that civil defence workers were seen exhuming bodies from the courtyard on Sunday.

Israel carried out deadly strikes in Gaza, first responders in the war-battered Palestinian territory said, as violence flared in the occupied West Bank.

The bodies of 13 people, mostly children, were recovered after an Israeli strike hit the home of a family near the southernmost Gaza city of Rafah, the agency said. Other people were believed to be under rubble.

A separate Israeli strike on a home in the Rafah area killed at least three people and wounded others, the civil defence agency said.

Resident Umm Hassan Kloub, 35, said her children screamed when they “woke up to a nightmare of an explosion”.

“Every second we live in terror, even the sound of Israeli aircraft doesn’t stop,” she said.

“We don’t know whether we will live or die. This is not life.”

Netanyahu vows to resist sanctions

On Saturday, Axios news site reported that Washington was planning to impose sanctions on Israel’s Netzah Yehuda battalion for rights violations during an operation in the occupied West Bank.

“If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit of the IDF, I will fight it with all my strength,” Neta­nyahu said in a statement.

His remarks came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at such steps when asked by a reporter in Italy about reports that his department had recommended cuts in military aid to an Israeli unit involved in violent incidents in the occupied West Bank.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2024

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